Digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat is an initiative taken by India’s government under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to provide a high-speed internet network in rural areas. The Digital India initiative was launched on 1st July 2015 to aid and benefit the other schemes of the government, including Make in India, Start-up India, Stand-up India, Bharatmala, and Sagarmala schemes.
The Digital India Mission focuses on three key areas for development:
The pandemic has caused upheavals in our lives, and the economy got the hardest hit. Keeping this in mind, Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched an initiative, Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan, to address all the issues. The initiative’s primary purpose is to empower and strengthen our economy.
Atmanirbhar, which means self-reliance, is heavily promoted by the current government to ensure economic stability, making India technologically capable, just like the various countries on the world map. Its core belief is to promote products that are made in India. One such example is Reliance Jio’s attempt at launching 5G. It has claimed that the technology is fully developed from scratch, hinting that Indian homogeneous technologies and solutions were used.
Digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat aims for inclusive growth in areas of electronic services, job opportunities, products, and manufacturing. It is a vision of our government to transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.
E-governance initiatives are not new to India as they have been introduced in India in the mid-1990s. Major initiatives of the government included railway computerization, land record computerization, etc. the focus of these initiatives was mainly on developing information systems, so they could not make the desired impact due to their limited features.
The government of India approved the E-kranti program with the vision of “Transforming e-governance for transforming governance.” All the government’s e-governance projects have been revamped and following the fundamental principles of E-Kranti: ‘Transformation and not Translation,’ ‘Integrated Services and not Individual service’. Government process engineering (GPR) has become mandatory in every MMP, cloud by default, mobile-first, and language localization.
Many new social sector projects, including women and children, have been added as a new MMP under the E-kranti mission of the government of India. Making India digital and providing benefits of schemes and programs to the citizens directly through online mode will increase the accountability and transparency in the government departments. It will create a Digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The primary motto of Digital India’s mission is ”Power to Empower”. The three core components of the Digital India Mission includes; Creation of the digital infrastructure, digital literacy, Digital delivery of services. The main objectives of Digital India Mission towards Atmanirbharat are as follows:
Following are the government services that are introduced under the Digital India Initiative-
The government has taken many steps to digitally literate rural houses, and it aims to cover around six crore houses under a massive project of 2,351.38 crores. All these efforts are made to help people make a start on digital platforms that will help them do business in many regions of the country in a comfortable manner. With digitalization, there will be more ease in doing business that will help in making India Atmanirbhar.
The honorable Prime Minister of India said a lot about Atmanirbhar Bharat, and now is the time to push these campaigns further to achieve the main goal of Atmanirbharta. The government has announced a challenge named, ‘’Digital India Atmanirbhar Bharat Innovate Challenge’’ on 4th July 2020. By banning 59 Chinese apps, the government is trying to boost the innovation of new ideas and encourage software developments for start-ups. Further, due to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it is now the time to tackle it through technology.
Track-01:- It includes the promotion of the existing apps. The government will provide mentoring, hand-holding support to promote the existing apps and platforms. It includes the categories of e-learning, work-from-home, entertainment, social networking, office utilities, and gaming apps. It will identify the good quality apps for the leaderboard and will be completed in a month.
Track-02:- Track two includes the development of new apps and platforms. It will help create new champions in India by aiding them in idea formation, prototyping, roll out, and market access.
The broadband highway covers three subcategories, namely, Rural, Broadband for All- Urban, and National Information Infrastructure (NII).
To fill the gaps in India’s connectivity, a comprehensive development plan for providing mobile coverage to the uncovered villages has been initiated, and it will be provided in a phased manner. The nodal department of this project will be The Department of Telecommunications. Also, the focus of this initiative is on network penetration to around 55,619 villages in India. The connectivity to rural India is going to fulfill the Digital India vision for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
To strengthen the common services center (CSCs), one CSC in each Gram Panchayat will be set up, and their number will be increased to 250,000. It will make the end-points for delivery of the government and business services more viable and multi-functional. The nodal department of this project will be DeitY.
To simplify and make the government process more efficient and make the delivery of government services more efficient and effective, the Re-engineering process using IT has been completed. It needs to be implemented by all the ministries and government departments. Below are the guiding principles for reforming the government through the use of technology are-
The use of an open data platform will facilitate the proactive release datasets in an accessible format by the government departments for their use, re-use, and their re-distribution. The online hosting of the information will help the citizens for open and easy access to information. Such an online platform will facilitate two-way communication between the government and citizens and bring in good governance.
The main focus of this pillar of Digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat is to promote electronics manufacturing in the country with the target of NET ZERO Imports by 2020. To achieve this target, there is a need to coordinate the actions on many fronts like tax, incentives, eliminating cost disadvantages, and economies of scale. With the booming demand for electronic products, the Indian government is taking several steps to promote manufacturing and investment in the electronic sector. With the increased manufacturing of electronic goods, India will become self-dependent, which will help advance the standard of life of the folks and increase employment opportunities. Thus, this pillar is a strong base for Digital India for the Atmanirbhar Bharat.
The chief focus of this pillar is to provide training to the youth in the skills required for availing employment opportunities in the IT/ITES sector. It targets to train one crore students from small towns and villages for jobs in the IT sector. It focuses on setting up BPOs in every north-east state to enable the growth of ICT in these states. To provide training to the rural workforce on Telecom related services. The Department of Telecommunications is the nodal department of this scheme.
The early harvest program consists of the projects which are to be implemented for a short period. The programs include the IT Platform for messages; it is a mass messaging application that aims to cover the elected representatives and all the government employees. It covers the cities with a population of over 1 million and the tourist centers with public wi-fi hotspots to promote digital cities. It will also help to facilitate real-time information sharing on the lost and found children. It will help to keep a check on the crime rate and to improve timely response. Through these programs and schemes, the government is highly optimistic about achieving Digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat.
Through the Digital India scheme, the government has decided to connect all the schemes with technology to form digital villages. The digital village will provide the skill development centers that can result in the growth of India’s social and economic status, which will lead India towards the Atmanirbhar Bharat goal. The government is working actively toward a 5 trillion dollar digital economy in the future.
Digital India is going to improve the socio-economic condition of the people of India. With less delivery time, it helps to provide easy access to all resources and services on time. Digital India helps in overcoming the absence of teachers through the use of virtual classrooms. Now, farmers and fishermen can communicate with the experts to obtain any information in their respective fields.
The use of internet banking will help form the ecosystem business prototypes with the government’s technological upliftment by adopting various digital payment platforms like Rupay. It will help to reach many government agencies directly from across India. With the digital platforms, the farmers can also get knowledge about the choice of crop, seed variety, and market information. Thus, these steps are laying a strong foundation of Digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat formulation.
The digital India Atmanirbhar Innovate challenge will encourage Indian innovators and developers to facilitate their ideas and products. It gives better clarity and visibility to the Indian apps. It is a joint venture of the government and the tech community members to make it more holistic.
Through the high-speed internet, adequate infrastructure for online education can be obtained. Due to the Digital India initiative, black money has been recovered, increasing government revenue. Aatmnirbhar Sena is riding ahead with the vision of digital India for Atmanirbhar Bharat.